I frequently am asked about ways to identify toxic partners before getting too involved. While I prefer to keep my focus on the ways WE get to break our own pattern of self-betrayal in relationships, I do believe there are some solid red flags and warning signs to heed…
Things to watch for in YOURSELF as you consider a potential mate:
1. Do I feel the need to avoid certain topics of conversation, fearing anger or upset?
2. Do I spend a lot of effort thinking about how to speak about something important to me, without making waves?
3. Am I afraid to introduce him to friends, fearing he might not accept them or something they say?
4. Do I hide parts of myself or my interests, fearing disapproval?
5. Do I often cater to his feelings to avoid making him uncomfortable?
6. Do my feelings for him partially come from my admiration of his desire to heal some form of brokenness/hurt/trauma?
7. Do I avoid interactions with strangers, friends, clients, or coworkers, fearing a jealous reaction?
8. Do I avoid wearing certain things that would draw attention, because he will be uncomfortable when other people notice me?
9. Do I avoid spending time away from him, because he will feel insecure?
10. Do I diminish my knowledge or skills, so his power isn’t threatened?
11. Do I feel pressured to give up financial independence?
12. Do I constantly feel the need to explain myself or check in?
13. Do I feel pressured to maintain a particular sexual role?
14. Do I feel love is only present when I successfully play the desired identity or “ideal woman”?
15. Do I feel afraid to ask for what I want?
16. Am I asked to meet standards he is exempt from?
17. Do I often feel left in the dark about our relationship and he refuses to communicate?
If you notice these behavioral patterns and feelings within yourself as you begin to mingle with a potential mate, you are showing signs of codependency and are likely paring with an abuser. Our FEELINGS are the biggest indicator of what is best for us. LISTEN. They are trying to tell you. Your intuition can be trusted.
Learning more about yourself, wounded feminine traits, and how to heal toxic patterns, is very important. Find a coach, educate yourself through books, and find a tribe of people who understand these dynamics.